Future innovators at Roslyn Elementary Schools

Future innovators at Roslyn Elementary Schools
Teams of fifth graders from East Hills and Harbor Hill Elementary Schools took part in a project modeled after "Shark Tank" in which they presented amusing and innovative business concepts to audiences of parents in June. (Photo courtesy of Roslyn Schools)

During the month of June, teams of fifth grade students at East Hills and Harbor Hill elementary schools took part in a “Shark Tank” like project, presenting fun and creative entrepreneurial ideas to audiences filled with parents.

The presentations were the culmination of a five-month program, taught by Library Media Specialists and derived from FreshINCedu—a curriculum that introduces and empowers young students to what it means to be an entrepreneur. The program includes curricular materials and support for teachers to guide students through creating and launching a business. Students work in teams to develop a product, pitch their idea and launch their business. The unit culminates in a marketplace experience where students sell their products.

“This is the beginning of a continuum which provides Roslyn students with business experience,” said Karina Baez, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education. “Our elementary students learn how to navigate the world of entrepreneurship by learning the hard skills needed to start a business and most importantly how communication, creativity, resiliency and teamwork are needed for a business to succeed.”

This year’s theme was automobile innovation. Students were tasked with inventing products to improve the automobile experience. For several months, they researched the history of the automobile and learned about different transportation entrepreneurs. They thought about the features found inside vehicles, learning how these features came to be and discovered which ones are no longer in use.

Working in teams, the students generated ideas, performed market research, developed advertisements and wrote elevator pitches. Ideas included: The Swivley Chair, allowing front seat passengers (in a parked position) to swivel around and face their backseat passengers; a Retractable Snow Plow that would allow a car to navigate bad weather and an iRobot to vacuum up snacks and dog hair inside the car.

“They worked collaboratively, utilizing critical thinking skills and creativity to come up with a product which they communicated to parents and fellow students,” said East Hills Library Media Specialist Nancy Boyd. “I could not be prouder of how hard these students worked to develop and communicate their ideas.”

“The students were very creative in dreaming up their products and creating amazing videos, logos and slogans to sell them,” said Harbor Hill Library Media Specialist Suzanne Penkovsky. “Look out Shark Tank, you may see some of our students crossing your path with their amazing inventions for your automobile!”

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